Londoners will not be allowed to carry on drinking in pubs and restaurants after finishing their meal under the new Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions.

Under the new rules, announced for the capital on Thursday, alcohol can only be served as part of a ‘substantial meal’.

A spokesperson for the PM confirmed that this means drinkers visiting pubs will have to leave once they finish eating.

The spokesperson said:  "We've been clear that, in tier two I believe, that you need to have a substantial meal if ordering any alcohol and it remains the case that the guidance says that once the meal is finished, it is at that point [you have to leave]."

The tiered system, operating from December 2, has been strengthened since the original rules were in place before lockdown, with many more areas in the higher tiers in a bid to keep infection rates down.

In Tier 2, households will not be allowed to mix indoors apart from in support bubbles, while a maximum of six people can meet outdoors.

There will be a one-hour extension on the curfew for pubs and restaurants, allowing them to stay open until 11pm.

Sadiq Khan welcomed the Government’s decision to place London in Tier 2, while objecting to the 11pm curfew, which he says should be scrapped altogether.

The Mayor said: “Whilst I welcome the Government’s decision to place London in Tier 2, I am extremely disappointed that the Government is sticking with specific measures that seem to cause more harm than good.

“I am pleased we persuaded the Government to get rid of the 10pm curfew but extending it to 11pm, when it should be scrapped altogether, is a mistake.

"It is a real blow to pubs, bars and restaurants which have endured such a difficult year and deserve better. 

“While we now know what restrictions will be from next Wednesday, there remains almost a week of lockdown still to go and it’s absolutely vital that Londoners continue following the rules to reduce the spread of the virus.

“With the positive news of a vaccine now in sight, it’s crucial we continue to follow the rules and do everything we can to protect the NHS and save lives.”